Rep. Huizenga: House restores investments in Going PRO, Pure Michigan

Categories: Huizenga News,News

Plan also addresses possible spread of coronavirus

Rep. Mark Huizenga today voted in favor of an emergency budget plan to promote job growth across Michigan, restore support for tourism and provide special funding to help combat the coronavirus if it reaches the state.

The emergency budget measures approved by the House partially restore funding Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed for Going PRO and Pure Michigan. Both programs were in danger of disruption because of the governor’s actions as the new budget year began Oct. 1.

Pure Michigan – the advertising campaign used to promote Michigan travel and tourism – will receive $16 million. Going PRO – which provides training to enhance skills and talent of Michigan’s workforce through completive grants to employers – will receive $15 million.

“Workforce training is absolutely critical for our state’s future,” Huizenga said. “Michigan is looking at an estimated 545,000 job openings by 2026 in sectors such as health care, information technology, construction and automotive. These are well-paying, highly sustainable careers that, if filled, will help grow our state’s economic future.”

The budget measures also go beyond funding restorations to fund a new program called Michigan Reconnect. It will help adults 25 and older earn a certificate or associate’s degree connected to in-demand skilled trades.

The measures also address evolving challenges such as the potential spread of coronavirus in Michigan. A total of $25 million will assist in virus monitoring, testing, infection control, and continuation of critical state government functions.

Other restorations include:
• $250,000 to allow the Kids Food Basket, based in west Michigan, to expand its sack supper program to up to 10 elementary schools currently on the organization’s waiting list.
• $2.2 million for the Centers for Independent Living, which provides high-quality independent living services to people with disabilities.
• $1 million to support a grant to the Van Andel Institute, which provides biomedical research and science education.
• Revived funding for several literacy and math programs in Michigan schools.

Senate Bills 151 and 373 received bipartisan support.

State Rep. Mark Huizenga, chair of the House’s General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, answers questions from Capitol press reporters today following the budget supplemental vote.